• A Genome Wide Association Scan of Bovine Tuberculosis Susceptibility in Holstein-Friesian Dairy Cattle

      Finlay, Emma K.; Berry, Donagh; Wickham, Brian W.; Gormley, Eamonn; Bradley, Daniel G; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Science Foundation Ireland; European Union; RSF 06409; 09/IN.1/B2642; et al. (PLOS, 2012-02)
      Background: Bovine tuberculosis is a significant veterinary and financial problem in many parts of the world. Although many factors influence infection and progression of the disease, there is a host genetic component and dissection of this may enlighten on the wider biology of host response to tuberculosis. However, a binary phenotype of presence/absence of infection presents a noisy signal for genomewide association study. Methodology/Principal Findings: We calculated a composite phenotype of genetic merit for TB susceptibility based on disease incidence in daughters of elite sires used for artificial insemination in the Irish dairy herd. This robust measure was compared with 44,426 SNP genotypes in the most informative 307 subjects in a genome wide association analysis. Three SNPs in a 65 kb genomic region on BTA 22 were associated (i.e. p,1025, peaking at position 59588069, p = 4.0261026) with tuberculosis susceptibility. Conclusions/Significance: A genomic region on BTA 22 was suggestively associated with tuberculosis susceptibility; it contains the taurine transporter gene SLC6A6, or TauT, which is known to function in the immune system but has not previously been investigated for its role in tuberculosis infection.